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National round-table in Azerbaijan discussed implementation of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment

UNECE, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan and the Regional Environmental Centre’s Caucasus Branch Office in Azerbaijan organized a national round-table on the legal implementation of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to the Espoo Convention on 29 August in Baku.

This event was organised in the framework of the EU programme “Greening Economies in the Eastern Neighbourhood” (EaP GREEN), aimed at:
• discussing the draft Review of national legislative and institutional structures vis-à-vis the Protocol on SEA in Azerbaijan, and
• developing recommendations to further support Azerbaijan in its efforts to strengthen its national legislative framework and capacities for the application of SEA.

Representatives of relevant Ministries, local authorities, members of Parliament and other stakeholders, such as NGOs, consultants and private sector were invited to take part in the event. They got familiar with the requirements of the Protocol on SEA and relevant EU Directives as well as with the existing European practice in
developing SEA legislation.

The UNECE experts presented the results of the gap analysis of the national legislation vis-à-vis the Protocol on SEA. Participants were further invited to provide inputs to the gap analysis and comments on the findings and recommendations of the draft Review. The Ministry and UNECE presented an assessment of the national capacity building needs on SEA and informed participants about the next steps in the implementation of the EaP GREEN programme in the country. These included:
• drafting of relevant legislation in 2015, followed by the finalisation of the Review,
and
• a pilot application of a SEA procedure to a draft Government plan or programme, scheduled to take place from September 2014 to April 2015.

Written comments to the Review can be sent to the following e-mail address: andriy.andrusevych@rac.org.ua by 8 September 20.